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Poster: Apple IIGS Date: Sep 22, 2005 8:44am
Forum: avgeeks Subject: Re: bus safety film?

I know precisely which film you're referring to, unfortunately, I don't know its title, what year it was released or who produced it either.

During my childhood in elementary school (1977-1984), each year they would gather us all in the basement cafeteria and have us watch this particular bus safety film. I remember it absolutely terrified me as a child, to the point I'd have nightmares about yellow school buses (and yes, it still haunts me today). As it turns out, my brother, sister and several of my friends saw the same film and it had the same effect of them.

For years I've been trying to track down the film, I too would very much like to see it again. I would be thrilled if archive.org could digitally capture it and make it available. I doubt there are any copyright issues at this point in time.

Here's some scenes I remember:

- An announcer talks about the "Danger Zone" around the bus. A white dotted line is superimposed on an overhead camera shot of the bus.

- One scene the announcer talks about a driver who's had a perfect safety record after years of service, but on this particular day that was about to change. There are several kids throwing a ball of yarn (unraviling no less, making a tangled web) around the back of the bus. The driver keeps looking into his rear view mirror telling them to settle down. He is distracted and runs over a child who was crossing the street after exiting the bus--see below.

- Another scene has a little girl making a Mother's Day card in school. She's very proud of her work and very eagerly looking forward to showing it to her parent at the end of the school day. On the bus ride home, she exists the bus, runs across the street to greet her mother (unknowningly dropping her Mother's Day card on the road in front of the bus). She then notices it's been dropped, runs out in front of the bus just as it starts to move forward. She is hit and instantly killed. We're then shown the mother sobbing uncontrollably, holding her child's dead body.

- A scene where a child drops his school books under the back wheels of the bus while it is letting off others at his stop. He bends down to pick them up. The bus moves, then we're visibly shown the inside of the bus/passengers, as the whole bus bounces and shakes it rolls over something large. Then we see the child, dead and under the bus tires.

- A scene with high school kids. The announcer talks about this girl looking forward to her high school prom dance, and her plans. It's winter. She exits the bus, then climbs onto a snowbank adjacent to it, and starts horsing around with her friends through the bus windows (they're grabbing her or her books?). She suddenly slips and slides under the bus, just as it's pulling away and crushes her body. The scene ends with her bloody and barely alive, taken away by ambulance and the announcer saying who she won't be going to prom dance this year, or any other dances in her lifetime, and will be paralized for the rest of her life (or something lovely like that). They mention the accident taking place in Vermont, I recall. Or the ambulance had a "Burlington, Vermont Paramedics" or such. My memory is vague here, though perhaps this was all produced in that state?

- Most of the scenes had this eeary two-note theme played, kind of like horror movie music (like, "Daa! Dumm!" in low note scale). Possibly a piano, or an analog synthesizer.

- The film itself was obviously produced in the late 60's or early 70's, just going by what I remember of the style of clothing the kids wore. Also how the film was old and crackling--definitely in color though, and no earlier than the 1960's.

It was very graphic, I remember seeing children covered in blood and the whole thing playing out like a serious drama. There were no cute cartoons, smiling adults hosts or happy endings. It was just meant to terrify and shock child, and yeah, it did! My elementary school was located in eastern Canada, though I definitely know the film was American.

I hope some of those descriptions can help someone pinpoint the name of this film, and if it's available. I can't imagine it still being shown today, but again, I just HAVE to see it once more. It's become almost like a cult film!



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Poster: A/V Geek Skip Date: Sep 22, 2005 10:28am
Forum: avgeeks Subject: Re: bus safety film?

After doing some research, I found the film that both of you are describing:

Death Zones (1975) Seven Oaks Productions

Unfortunately, it's still under copyright and I can't post it at the Internet Archive.

It's made by Gene Starbecker who also made another notorious bus safety film - aimed at teens - called "And Then It Happened". It's a brutal film with lots of noisy, wisecracking kids and catastrophe. I'll be showing this film at a couple of shows in New York on Sept 28th and 29th (more info www.avgeeks.com).

Skip

This post was modified by AV Geek Skip on 2005-09-22 17:28:57

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Poster: Apple IIGS Date: Sep 22, 2005 10:25am
Forum: avgeeks Subject: Re: bus safety film?

Indeed that's it. Here's one place where you can purchase it from, along with a description of each sketch story (ah, looks like my memory isn't so bad!).

http://www.dxmarket.com/ptsi/products/2152.html

I wonder if it was produced in 1977 or 1975, I'd guess the latter. That's quite pricey for a 20 minute educational video, maybe I can find it at a local library's video section (if there is such a thing).

Interesting it was broken up into 3 parts, with part 2 and 3 meant only for teenagers and young adults. Why on earth did my elementary school show all 3 parts, regardless of what grade you were in? No wonder I had nightmares. :)

Well...that mystery is solved! Thanks for the help! Now to see if I can't track down a copy to watch one of these days...